As the final pit stop before the T20 World Cup, the South African captain Temba Bavuma reckons the white ball series against India starting at the Greenfield stadium on Wednesday will help his side to fill up gaps and give much-needed game time to his players.
Bavuma expects the series to be competitive and that India will challenge South Africa in all aspects of the game like in the previous series. “We expect the series to be competitive. Obviously, we are looking at this series to fill up whatever gap that is there. We got guys who will be playing a lot of games and we will need to manage those guys’ intensities and there are guys who need some cricket under their belt. We would like to give them that opportunity. It is our last preparation. Different conditions but game time is most important,’’ he said.
Bavuma said it was good that South Africa was playing a near full-strength Indian team and expected captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to lead from the front. “Those are big names and we expect them to lead from the front. It is good for us to be coming up against their best,’’ he said.
The South African captain said it will be challenging to face the Indian opening bowlers and the game plan was to limit the damage and then build the momentum. “It is quite challenging as they get the ball to swing and move a bit a little more than what we are accustomed to. We need to limit the damage and then get some momentum going,’’ he said.
Indian batting coach Vikram Rathore said the final playing eleven will depend on the conditions and added that the team has been shaping up well in the last few games and there was still scope for more improvement in all departments. “We have been putting up par or above par totals since the T20 World Cup and our batting approach has definitely changed. I won’t be harsh on our bowlers who have pushed the match into final overs and they were expensive because of the dew factor. But it is one area in which we are working on. As far as the World Cup is concerned, We will be playing in different conditions in Australia, and adapting to those conditions will be the key,’’ he said.